There is just one month to go until the opening of the 2023 Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market, and this year’s will be the biggest market ever to be held on the city’s iconic Cathedral Green.
This year, Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market opens on 17 November and runs until 17 December. Already a popular highlight in Devon’s festive calendar, the market attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. Organisers say this year’s event will be the biggest yet, with more than a hundred of the familiar festive chalets planned for Cathedral Green, hosting 117 different traders.
Visitors to this year’s Christmas Market will also enjoy free entry into the famous cathedral itself (standard entry fee for sightseers is normally £7.50), which is currently hosting a huge ‘Christmas’ star sculpture by artist, Peter Walker. The captivating Light of Hope Star, which is suspended from the cathedral’s medieval stone vault nave ceiling, is a five-metre steel and neon light sculpture, originally created during the coronavirus pandemic as part of a project involving cathedrals from across the UK.
The 2023 market will again host two bars on Cathedral Green, both will be run this year by Devon-based event hospitality specialists, Barnova. The market’s Global Street Food Village will also return with flavours from around the world. Pop-up cuisine includes a taste of the Wild West from Urban Cowboy Street Food, vegan and gluten-free Asian dishes from Buddha Bowls, and a variety of gyros from The Big Greek Feed. More traditional tastes are also catered for, with Gourmet Street Kitchen’s classic mac and cheese, sustainable fish and chips from Harry’s Kitchen, and hog roast from Kenniford Farm. Lighter refreshments can be found at Exeter Cathedral’s very own Ten Fifty Café, offering barista coffee and warming festive speciality drinks and snacks, with all profits helping to preserve the cathedral’s ancient architecture for future generations.
Seasonal shoppers will discover gift ideas ranging from West Country cheese and ready-made cocktails, to hand-made egg warmers and olive wood Christmas carvings. Fashionistas can find a unique wardrobe of local clothes, jewellery and accessories, such as Mantis’ contemporary sterling silver and costume jewellery, and recycled leather bags made in Dartmouth by Mooi. Devon-based Wild Wool will also be on site, bringing winter warmth with ethically-produced wool, cashmere and bamboo clothing and blankets. Other Devon-based makers will be offering homeware creations, including hand-made stone platters, chopping boards and coasters from Fanciflair Design, pottery by Alison Miles and scented, soy wax candles from Illumine Candle Co. There will also be hand-crafted decorations from Bayview Nurseries, Craft Exe and Treasure Tree.
Catherine Escott, Chief Operating Officer at Exeter Cathedral, hopes that this year’s market will bring festive joy to the region for both traders and visitors:
“We are delighted to have been able to expand our Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market site for 2023. For Advent and Christmas this year, we can do more than ever to support local makers and traders in need of a high-footfall outlet.
“The Christmas Market brings festive cheer to hundreds of thousands of people from across Devon and beyond. We hope to see many of those visitors taking advantage of free entry into our awe-inspiring cathedral too – especially while we have Peter Walker’s stunning star sculpture on display. It really is a sight not to be missed.”
The 2023 Exeter Cathedral Christmas Market runs from Friday 17 November until Sunday 17 December. Opening times will be 10am-7pm Monday to Wednesday, 10am-9pm Thursday to Saturday, and 11am-5pm on Sundays.